10 most jaw-dropping performances from college football Week 4

By Matt Johnson
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 of the college football season finally arrived and the SEC’s return helped make Saturday’s slate a memorable one thanks to a few stunning upsets and even more jaw-dropping performances.

A year after Joe Burrow took college football by storm with a record-breaking season, everyone wants to know who will be the next quarterback to make the leap. We might have found our answer in the SEC, where Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask thrived with an incredible supporting cast.

While it was a great day for Florida, there were amazing stat lines across the country. From a freshman running back sparking a top-five upset to K.J. Costello thriving in Mike Leach’s offense in another shocker. Quite simply, this was a Saturday to remember.

Here are the 10 most jaw-dropping performances from Week 4 of the college football season.

Florida Gators QB Kyle Trask has Heisman-caliber performance in Week 4

Trask didn’t garner tons of attention around college football as a three-star recruit in 2016 and it took until 2019 before he made an impact for the Gators. He showed flashes of talent last season with a 25/7 TD/INT ratio, but it never quite came together completely. In Florida’s Week 4 opener, the redshirt senior looked like Joe Burrow.

MORE: Winners, losers from Florida’s explosive victory over Ole Miss

It was just a year ago that Burrow made a monumental jump with the LSU Tigers, posting jaw-dropping stats on a weekly basis and carrying LSU to a national championship. Trask just tore Ole Miss apart on Saturday, collecting four touchdown passes in the first half and finishing with 416 yards and six scores. Big things are coming for Trask and the Gators in 2020, maybe even a Heisman Trophy if the offense is this explosive.

Sophomore sensation Dillion Gabriel dominates again

Jaw-dropping performances are nothing new for Gabriel or even UFC quarterbacks. The sophomore kicked off his season by picking Georgia Tech’s defense apart for 417 yards and four scores in a season-opening win. He set the bar quite high for himself and had no problems reaching it in Week 4.

In a pass-heavy offense that asks Gabriel to put the team on his shoulders, he did all of that and more. Gabriel completed 32-of-47 passes, racking up 408 passing yards and four touchdowns. The Knights weren’t dependent on deep shots, they just attacked East Carolina on quick throws and the damage was done. With consecutive 400-yard, four-touchdown performances in his pocket, expect Gabriel to continue the streak on Oct. 3 against Tulsa.

Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore takes off in Lane Kiffin’s offense

We knew the hiring of Lane Kiffin would make Ole Miss more interesting to watch. It goes beyond his unique style, which we saw with the introduction of the turnover bag. He brings excitement to a college football program, even more so to its offense. While the Rebels didn’t win in Week 4, Elijah Moore’s emergence was a treat.

Coming off an 850-yard season, the junior is already a quarter of the way to matching that mark after one game. With quarterback Matt Corral looking better than ever, his chemistry with this big-play receiver was on full display. Moore hauled in 10 receptions for 227 receiving yards, living up to his reputation as a special deep threat. Kiffin’s arrival is already doing wonders for the Rebels’ young talent.

Kyle Pitts proves he is the best tight end in college football

When we looked ahead to the 2021 NFL Draft with our mock draft, it was evident there are tons of great tight ends in college football. At 6-foot-6 with unmatched athleticism, Pitt offered the highest upside. All he needed this season was elevated quarterback play to make the leap. That’s exactly what happened in Florida’s season-opening victory.

Pitts’ first-half stats (75 receiving yards, two touchdowns) would be considered a phenomenal day for most tight ends. It wasn’t enough for Florida’s star. The junior kept adding to his monster stat line in the second half, kicking off the third quarter with a 71-yard score and ending his day with a 17-yard touchdown. If a 170-yard, four-touchdown performance isn’t enough to prove he is TE1 in college football and the 2021 NFL Draft class, then the rankings are off.

Appalachian State RB Datetrich Harrington explodes in monster game

There are few things the Mountaineers love more than using multiple running backs. While it doesn’t always work, as we saw against Marshall, the plan of attack worked to perfection in Week 4 against Campbell. Frankly, it’s the only thing that could stop Harrington on Saturday.

The junior’s season started on a quiet note with 90 rushing yards in his first two games. Against Campbell’s defense, he exploded for 211 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Harrington’s longest run of the day was a 40-yard score, with the 6-foot running back finding success on nearly every one of his 32 carries. Given freshman Nate Noel ran for 131 yards and a score on 14 attempts, we can only wonder what Harrington would have done with even more chances.

Freshman Deuce Vaughn carries Kansas State in stunning Week 4 upset

Kansas State has Oklahoma’s number. When the Wildcats stunned the Sooners in 2019, its running backs contributed nearly 200 scrimmage yards in the 48-41 win. Facing a 21-point deficit in the third quarter, Kansas State called on a freshman running back to leave his mark in his second college football game.

While Vaughn fell just short of the end zone on his 77-yard highlight, he made up for it in the clutch. The freshman found a hole and exploded through it for a 38-yard score, which tied the game at 35 with eight minutes left. Vaughn finished the day leading the team in rushing yards (45) and receiving yards (129) in this shocking upset. Described as a generational talent by his coach, Vaughn is now on the national radar as a college star.

Patrick Jones II becomes Pittsburgh’s new defensive star

Pittsburgh is known for sending some defensive stars to the NFL, with All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald the most recent example. When defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman opted out of the 2020 college football season, the Panthers needed someone on defense to become their difference-maker. Let us introduce you to Patrick Jones II.

The senior edge rusher made Saturday a miserable experience for Louisville’s offensive line. He racked up three sacks on the day, including 2.5 in the first two quarters. Jones also tacked on two tackles for loss, practically living in the backfield. NFL teams are always looking for players who can create havoc off the edge and Jones is that player.

Tulsa RB Cameron Carroll storms through Southern Miss

Coming into Week 4, we typically only saw Carroll in the red zone for Tulane. He found pay dirt four times in the first two weeks, but hadn’t recorded a catch or eclipsed 65 rushing yards entering Saturday. A matchup against Southern Mississippi changed everything.

Carroll found the end zone early with a 16-yard receiving touchdown midway through the second quarter. Having a taste for scores, he took a carry 30 yards to the house in the final seconds before halftime. When the third quarter began, the sophomore made a house call with a 52-yard touchdown run. When his day was over, Carroll finished with 179 scrimmage yards and four total touchdowns. It’s safe to say Carroll will play a big role moving forward.

K.J. Costello finds a home with Mike Leach

When Costello entered the transfer portal in December, the redshirt senior had no idea what his future in football would be. The moment he learned Mississippi State hired Mike Leach, there was nothing else to consider. An opportunity to play in the Air Raid offense with a great supporting cast around him, greatness was imminent.

The Leach effect was on full display in Week 4. By halftime, Costello threw for more passing yards (292) than a Bulldogs’ quarterback had during any single-game performance in 2019. He also passed his previous career-high for passing yards (381) before the fourth quarter hit. Costello set the SEC’s single-game record (623 passing yards), threw five touchdowns and delivered helped Leach upset the defending national champions.

Sam Ehlinger leads Texas to miraculous Week 4 comeback

The Longhorns were expected to obliterate Texas Tech, coming in as a 17.5-point favorite. Instead, Ehlinger took the field with three minutes left in the game down 56-41. At this point, everyone expected the game to be over and for Texas to begin its 2020 season with an unthinkable loss to the Red Raiders. Then, Ehlinger pulled off a miracle.

He immediately led the Longhorn’s offense on a four=play, 59-yard drive to cut the deficit to eight with 2:39 remaining. Texas recovered the onside kick, giving its senior quarterback a chance to complete the comeback. Ehlinger delivered once more, finding the end zone on the sixth play of the drive then connecting for the two-point conversion to tie it. He got the ball in overtime, scored a touchdown in three plays and that was a wrap. Erasing a 15-point deficit and finishing with six total touchdowns in a win, not a bad day at the office for this Longhorns’ legend.